2 tbsp (plus 1/2 tsp) Extra virgin olive oil
3 cups Fresh eggplant (do not peel, small dice)
3 cups Sweet onion (small dice)
1 cup Celery (small dice)
3 cups Fresh white button mushrooms (sliced or wedge cut)
2 tbsp Fresh garlic (finely chop)
10 oz Frozen cut okra (thawed under hot water)
1 cup Green pepper (small dice)
2 cups Zucchini (small dice)
1/4 tsp Black pepper (coarsely ground)
1 1/2 tsp Salt
3 1/2 cups Crushed tomatoes
2 cups Vegetable stock
1 tbsp Vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp Filé powder
1/4 tsp Dried thyme leaf
1 tsp Hot pepper sauce
1/4 cup Toasted 100% whole wheat flour
1/4 cup Water

Coat the bottom of a baking sheet with 1/2 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil.

Evenly spread out the diced eggplant on the pan and bake in a 400°F oven for 20 minutes. Remove and reserve.

In a cook pot, add 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and diced onion, and sauté on low heat until golden. Add celery and mushrooms, and sauté on medium-low heat until mushrooms become tender, about 5 minutes.

Push vegetables to the side; add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil with the 2 tablespoons of garlic in an open area, spread and sauté until garlic just begins to turn a light golden color. Immediately add okra, green peppers, zucchini, eggplant, salt and pepper. Stir well and sauté 3 minutes.

Add crushed tomato, vegetable stock, Worcestershire, filé, thyme, hot pepper sauce and bring to a simmer. Combine flour and water, stir with spatula to make smooth, lump-free slurry.

Add slurry to gumbo bring to simmer for 5 minutes – serve with cooked brown rice or whole grains.

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